1/19 – Rob Knight’s “Potential For Winter Weather Ahead” Morning Forecast
A rather complex forecast scenario will play out over the short term period. High pressure will remain centered east of the area, and this will allow for continued warm air and moisture advection into the forecast area. As a result warmer than average temperatures are expected today. In advance of an approaching cold front, the increase in moisture and instability will support the development of showers by this afternoon.
As the low moves east into the Tennessee Valley tonight, a strong cold front will sweep into the Lower Mississippi Valley. This front should rapidly push through the forecast area during the overnight hours and be located over the northern Gulf by Thursday morning. Highs on Thursday will maintain this large gradient with temperatures only warming into the upper 40s over parts of Southwest Mississippi, but climbing into the mid-50s along the coast.
The forecast gets more interesting from Thursday night through Friday morning, and this is the period of time when the potential for a winter weather event will be maximized. The cold front will remain stalled over the northern Gulf, and a Gulf low is expected to develop in a region of increased lift beneath a passing jet streak. The one limiting factor could be the extent of available moisture, but there should still be sufficient moisture in place based on strong forcing over the shallow cold pool at the surface to support cloud and rain development. Thus, freezing rain is expected to develop by the late evening hours of Thursday and persist into the mid-morning hours on Friday.
Temperatures should warm above freezing by late morning on Friday, and drier air should begin to gradually advect in from the north as the surface low pulls to the east. Very cold overnight temperatures are expected this weekend and a HARD FREEZE WARNING will more than likely be issued.